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Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy and Pinnawela Overnight

Duration: 2 Days

sigiriya, dambulla, kandy and pinnawela overnight

Spend a relaxing couple of days exploring some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful natural wonders and historical sites. Known as the “Tropical Teardrop of the Indian Ocean", this breathtaking island combines palm-fringed beaches, dramatic landscapes and spectacular wildlife with a wealth of archeological wonders, ancient history and a rich cultural heritage. This inspiring tour is a wonderful way to gain a glimpse of the island highlights.

Day 1:
After an early start from your resort in Colombo, we take a leisurely drive through Sri Lanka’s strikingly diverse countryside to reach the ancient Rock Fortress of Sigiriya (Lions’ Rock), one of Sri Lanka's most popular attractions. Rising majestically over 600ft above the plains, the palace fortress was built on top of an enormous rock by King Kasyapa in the 5th century. The site is particularly famous for its well-preserved frescoes of beautiful Sigiriyan court ladies, which can be found halfway up the rock in a sheltered alcove. Amongst the complex of ancient buildings at the top lie waterway gardens and ruins, including the King’s throne.The steep climb to the summit may seem difficult to some, but you will find it well worth the effort once you reach the top as the views of the surrounding countryside are breathtaking.

Your tour then continues onwards to the ancient Cave Temple of Dambulla, also known as the Golden Temple. Declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 as part of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, this is the largest and best-preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka, and one of the most impressive in Asia. These historic caves date back 2000 years when a Sinhalese King allegedly took refuge here during an invasion from the Tamil Kingdom of South India. He lived here with the hermits until he gained the strength to drive the invaders away. After reclaiming his capital, the King declared the caves a sacred area and built the first cave temple here, dedicated to the people who helped him. Since then, five caves have been converted into temples. A selection of 12th century statues can be found inside the gilded walls, as well as late 18th century Sri Lankan paintings relating to Lord Buddha and his life. The steep climb to the top will reward you with spectacular views of the surrounding jungle, tanks (reservoirs) and Sigiriya Rock in the distance.

We then proceed to the ancient city of Kandy, stopping at a wood carving centre and a local Spice Garden along the way. You will stay overnight in Kandy and visit the famous Temple of the Tooth, which reputedly enshrines a sacred tooth of the Buddha, either that evening or the following morning.

Day 2:
After breakfast the next morning, you will be taken on a guided city tour of Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built around a beautiful lake, amidst the lush green hills of the Kandy Valley, the town’s natural beauty has long attracted travellers to this part of the island. The city is renowned for its quality local handicrafts, which can be found in the shops and markets. Last but not least, the last stop of the tour is the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, which was set up to protect and care for baby elephants found orphaned, injured or abandoned by their mothers, Help bottle-feed the babies in their stalls and watch both baby and adult elephants take their daily bath in the river. This is wonderful experience not to be missed during your holiday in Sri Lanka.

Tour includes: half board accommodation on twin sharing basis, air conditioned transportation, an English speaking chauffeur guide and entrance fees as per itinerary. Optional extras: elephant ride and cultural show.

 

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